Socialist Students from the Bay Area, CA travelled to North Dakota to bring supplies to Native American water protectors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read about their experience here!
Morgan Quirk, Socialist Students – Bay Area
For young people, the threat of climate catastrophe grows more grave each year, as corporations and their politicians take no serious measures to prevent it. Students are often on the front line of environmental struggles, which is why we went to North Dakota to link up with the Native American water protectors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. We first held a fundraiser in Oakland with the working class community and Socialist Alternative activists, where we were able to raise over $1600 in supplies to assist the #NoDAPL camps. We drove 26 hours from Oakland, past the National Guard checkpoint, and finally delivered the supplies to the diverse group of campers and native tribes fighting for clean water and against environmental destruction.
Due to direct action and occupation, Obama himself was pushed to call for a temporary halt to construction in the area, which the local court later upheld. This victory was met with cheers one evening during our communal dinner at Sacred Stone camp, but it was also widely understood that this was a temporary victory and that further struggle would come during the fall and difficult winter months. For this reason, it was requested that we bring heaters, warm clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, and other means to help the camps last through the cold days ahead. But this battle against the pipeline company is bringing together an increasingly wide coalition. This began with the native tribes coming together in a historic show of unity, but it is also inspiring the broad environmental movement, working class people around the country, black lives activists, and even some of the more progressive unions.
We discovered that the links between the injustices here and around the world are felt deeply in the Standing Rock community – an elder medicine man from Manitoba told us, “In Iceland they are jailing the bankers. We need to think about that. There is a revolution happening all around the world.” Students and young people will be at the cutting edge of all these battles, many fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis of capitalism and its devastating impact on the environment.